What Is Micellar Water And How To Use It Effectively?

Pro tips on using this makeup removing agent that has gained popularity in recent years

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD Dr. Vindhya L Veerula Dr. Vindhya L VeerulaMD, FAAD facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Cleaning your makeup at the end of the day is important, but how do you ensure you have cleaned every bit of it? Using micellar water has made the process much easier. If you are wondering how to use micellar water to enjoy all its benefits, this article can be your guide.

Micellar water is mess-free and easy to use compared to cleansing balms, oils, wet wipes, and other oil-based cleansers. It is gentle on the skin and helps clear the skin pores and remove all traces of makeup. Moreover, it also tones the skin and does not strip the natural oils.

If you are intrigued by this French skin care secret, we can give you enough reasons to switch to micellar water. So keep reading to learn how micellar water can transform your skin cleansing routine, why it is good for your skin, and how to use it.

What Is Micellar Water?

What is micellar water and how to use it
Image: Shutterstock

Micellar water is a liquid cleanser that contains tiny micelle molecules that are readily soluble in water and attract oil. This means oil, makeup, dirt, and impurities get attached to it easily in just a few swipes. It contains water, a little glycerin, and a mild concentration of surfactantsi  Cleansing detergent or chemicals used in cosmetic formulations to create lather and clear dirt and oils. that help remove dirt. You don’t need to wash your face after using micellar water as it gets fully absorbed into your skin and acts as a toner.

protip_icon Fun Fact
The use of micellar water in a skincare routine dates back to 1913 in France. It gained popularity in 1991 with Bioderma’s product Sensibio H2O micellar water.

But here’s the biggest question – is it actually good for your skin? Read on to find out.

Is Micellar Water Good For Your Skin?

Is Micellar Water good for your skin
Image: Shutterstock

Micellar water is mild, hydrating, non-alcoholic, and oil- and chemical-free. It does not contain any heavy duty soaps or cleansing agents that strip off your skin’s natural oils, dry it out, or cause breakouts. It is gentle on the skin and does not cause any damage (1).

On the flip side, since it does not contain fancy ingredients, it might not remove all traces of makeup. It works as a pre-cleanse and you may need to follow it up with a face wash, cleanser, or toner.

An esthetician and blogger tried micellar water and shared her experience in her blog. She writes, “I use micellar water on a regular basis as the first step in a nightly double cleanse. Micellar water does not do a particularly good job at removing my eye make-up (i).”

So, you must be thinking why use it in the first place? Well, there are plenty of reasons why you should use micellar water. Check them out!

Why Should You Use Micellar Water?

  • It is rinse-free and does not need to be washed off, unlike most facial cleansers that leave behind an oily and greasy layer on top of your skin.
  • It is non-irritating. It does not contain any chemicals that can irritate your eyes, cause redness, or make your eyes water. The water and glycerine formula is perfect for sensitive skin too. A study conducted on 400 participants found that the usage of micellar water reduced the unpleasant skin sensations from 47.7% on day 1 to 62.7% on day 28. It was further noted that 83.6% of the population experienced a reduction in skin sensitivity after 28 days of using micellar water.
  • It is not an abrasive or an exfoliant and does not contain alcohol that dries your skin out or causes inflammation. It is gentle on your skin.
  • It removes makeup in just a few swipes and without creating a mess. It saves time and does not have to be used over a sink. You can use it in bed and go straight to sleep.

Quite amazing that one beauty product can totally transform your skin care routine, isn’t it? Let’s see how you can start using micellar water on a regular basis.

How To Use Micellar Water In Your Skin Care Routine

1. As A Cleanser In The Morning

How to use micellar water as a cleanser in the morning
Image: Shutterstock

Skin experts say that you need a full cycle of double cleansing twice a day. Once in the morning, and once at the end of the day to remove makeup. But, let’s face it – you probably think it is too laborious to follow a strict routine like that. Here’s where micellar water comes to your rescue. It gets absorbed into your skin and cleanses it quickly. If you use any serums, packs, or lotions as part of your nighttime routine, clean them up with micellar water the next morning before washing your face.

2. Use It for Toning Your Skin

How to use micellar water for toning your skin
Image: Shutterstock

If you think you need a much stronger makeup remover, use one of your choice and follow it up with micellar water. Micellar water acts as a toner while removing the last traces of makeup.

3. Makeup Remover

How to use micellar water as a makeup remover
Image: Shutterstock

Use micellar water for its intended purpose – as a makeup remover. Soak a cotton pad in this liquid and wipe your makeup off. If you have heavy makeup on, do this a couple of times. It is the safest and most harmless way to remove your makeup.

protip_icon Quick Tip
While micellar water can remove regular makeup, it is not strong enough to remove waterproof makeup.

4. Refresh Or Touch Up

If you feel like there’s too much makeup on your face or your skin starts feeling heavy in the middle of a hot day, micellar water comes in very handy. Dip a cotton pad or soft cloth in micellar water and dab it around yourT-zonei  The middle (and the oiliest) part of the face comprising the forehead, nose, and chin area. or oily zones. It hydrates your skin instantly and leaves behind a refreshing feel.

5. Clean Your Makeup Brushes

How to use micellar water for cleaning your makeup brushes
Image: Shutterstock

You know how you never have the time or always find an excuse for not cleaning your makeup brushes? We totally get it. Micellar water is the easiest, cheapest, and most fuss-free way to clean your brushes. Soak your brushes in a bowl of micellar water for a few minutes. Dry them with a paper towel or a soft cloth. You are sorted!

6. Cleansing Post Workout

How to use micellar water for cleansing post-workout
Image: Shutterstock

Most of us don’t wear makeup when working out and, thus, assume that washing our face directly with a cleanser or a face wash is a great idea. The truth is, a whole lot of sweat settles on the top of your skin and attracts dust. This can clog your pores. Just use micellar water to cleanse your face quickly after working out.

7. Hand Sanitizer

How to use micellar water as a hand sanitizer
Image: Shutterstock

It may sound like a crazy idea, but micellar water can be used as a hand sanitizer when you are in a pinch.

People often get confused between micellar water and toner and wonder which one is more ideal for daily use. If you too have been curious about it, keep reading.

Micellar Water Vs. Toner

The basic difference between micellar water and toner is in their usage. Micellar water is a makeup remover usually made with water and mild detergents, while toner is a predominantly water-based product used after cleansing your skin. Micellar water is more popularly known for melting makeup and removing dirt and impurities, thereby making it a good option as a pre-cleanser. Toner is more ideal for using after face wash and double cleansing as it aids in balancing your skin’s pH levels. It also helps minimize large pores, remove dead skin cells, and hydrate the skin.

Infographic: Top Benefits Of Micellar Water And Ways To Use It

Removing makeup before going to bed can often be tiresome. But sleeping with your makeup on can negatively impact your overall skin health. This is where micellar water comes in. It can clean makeup easily with its gentle cleansing properties. In fact, it has other benefits too. In the following infographic, we have listed how micellar water can benefit you and the ways you can use it. Take a look.

top benefits of micellar water (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Micellar water is a mild liquid cleanser that removes dirt and makeup from your skin without leaving an oily layer behind. Due to micellar water being non-alcoholic and chemical-free, it is ideal for people with sensitive skin. If you are wondering about how to use micellar water, it is pretty simple. You can simply use it on your skin as a makeup remover, cleanser, toner, or even as a hand sanitizer. What’s more, you can use micellar water as a cleanser after your intense workout. All you need to do is use micellar water daily and see the results!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave micellar water on my face overnight?

Leaving micellar water on the face overnight is generally considered safe for most skin types. Dr.Hari Kiran Chekuri, a board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon, opines, “However, it is vital to note that individuals with sensitive or reactive skin should prefer rinsing their face after use to avoid potential irritation.”

Can I put makeup on after using micellar water?

Yes. You may put makeup on after using micellar water. Dr. Chekuri says, “Micellar water can be a practical pre-makeup step. It cleanses the skin, leaving a fresh and clean base for makeup application. Some formulations of micellar water contain hydrating ingredients, making the skin smoother, which can enhance makeup application.”

Is micellar water good for acne?

Yes. It is good for acne-prone skin as it may help clean the skin without harsh scrubbing. But, Dr. Chekuri adds, “Micellar water may not be sufficient as a sole treatment for severe acne. It should be part of a broader skin care regimen.”

Is micellar water oil-free?

Yes. It contains water, glycerine, and a mild mix of surfactants.

What skin types is micellar water best for?

Micellar water does not contain any harsh chemicals. So, it is suitable for all skin types.

What should you look for when buying micellar water?

Micellar water is a pretty safe product to use. However, some brands add humectantsi  Substances in cosmetic formulations that draw moisture from the air and create a protective layer to lock in hydration. and alcohol to it, so do your research before making your purchase.

What is the difference between micellar water and toner?

Micellar water is predominantly a cleanser and contains elements that attract dust and grime. Toner, on the other hand, finishes up the cleansing process, closes your pores, and gently exfoliates your skin.

When should you use micellar water?

You can use micellar water to remove makeup at the end of the day. If you think it is too mild, you can use it in a double-cleansing process along with a makeup remover to weed out all the stubborn debris from your face.

Can I use micellar water every day?

Yes, you can use micellar water every day to cleanse your face and remove makeup. You can also use it as a toner.

Can I use moisturizer after micellar water?

Yes, you need to apply moisturizer after using micellar water. If you are using them in the morning, follow up with sunscreen.

Is micellar water good for dark circles?

There is not enough evidence to prove that micellar water helps reduce dark circles.

Key Takeaways

  • Micellar water can be used as a gentle toner.
  • It can be used for multiple things like as a hand sanitizer, or after workout to remove sweat.
  • It is a quick and easy way to clean dirty makeup brushes.
  • Micellar water doesn’t cause any inflammation or redness making it a good cleaning option for sensitive and acne-riddled skin.

Learn how to use micellar water to cleanse, hydrate, and refresh your skin. Get ready to experience the power of this gentle yet effective cleanser.

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Sensitive skin compatibility of micellar water
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Dr. Veerula (Dr. V) is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons. She is an energetic, proactive, and compassionate medical practitioner with 5 years of experience and a thorough understanding of overall mind-body-spiritual wellness.

Read full bio of Dr. Vindhya L Veerula
  • DR. HARIKIRAN CHEKURIMBBS, MS Dr. Harikiran Chekuri, MS, is a board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon specializing in hair transplant, plastic surgery, and reconstructive and esthetic surgery. He has 20 years of experience, performed more than 15,000 plastic surgeries, and received over 24 awards for his expertise. Dr. Chekuri is an alumnus of JSS Medical College, Mysore, and the founder and director of ReDefine Hair Transplant & Plastic Surgery Centre, Hyderabad.
    Dr. Harikiran Chekuri, MS, is a board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon specializing in hair transplant, plastic surgery, and reconstructive and esthetic surgery. He has 20 years of experience, performed more than 15,000 plastic surgeries, and received over 24 awards for his expertise. Dr. Chekuri is an alumnus of JSS Medical College, Mysore, and the founder and director of ReDefine Hair Transplant & Plastic Surgery Centre, Hyderabad.
Ramona Sinha
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Anjali Sayee
Anjali SayeeAssociate Editor
Anjali is an associate editor at StyleCraze. She specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. She has 7 years of experience, and her philosophy about hair and skin care is simple: if you love and care for it, it will be healthy.

Read full bio of Anjali Sayee
Shiboli Chakraborti
Shiboli ChakrabortiCommerce Editor
Shiboli has a master’s degree in English literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and is a certified skincare coach with four years of experience. As a commerce editor, she guides her team members on the best practices to create crisp and authentic content.

Read full bio of Shiboli Chakraborti